September 29, 2023
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The United States exempts Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from international trade agreements

The government of US President Joe Biden announced on Saturday (1) that it would remove Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the trade agreement between Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea, as the actions of the governments of the three countries violate its policies.

“The United States has today excluded Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the AGOA’s trade priority program because of the actions of each of their governments in violation of the terms of this agreement,” the US Trade Representative (USTR) said in a communications statement.

The AGOA, the African Development and Opportunity Act (African Development and Development Opportunities Act), is a trade agreement enacted in 2020 during the Bill Clinton administration to facilitate and regulate trade between the United States and Africa.

“The Biden-Harris administration is deeply concerned about the unconstitutional change in the governments of Guinea and Mali,” the bulletin said.

The administration, on the other hand, is concerned about “blatant violations of internationally recognized human rights by the Ethiopian government and other parties involved in the conflict, which have spread throughout northern Ethiopia.”

The USTR assured that “each country has clear criteria on the path to reconciliation (progress) and the administration will work with their governments to achieve this goal.”

Under the AGOA agreement, thousands of African products can benefit from import tax cuts as long as they meet the requirements of human rights, good governance and workers’ protection, but do not impose any tariffs on US products in their territory.

By 2020, 38 countries will be eligible to participate in the AGOA, according to the UTSR website.

The agreement was modernized by the US Congress in 2015, which extended the plan until 2025.